Monday, February 14, 2011

How To Choose The Best School For My Child

Below is a part of the article on choosing the best school for your child from the Web site

When it comes to deciding on a school for your child, the more choices you have, the better, right? 
Sure, except that having more choices makes the school-choosing process all the more difficult as you struggle to answer questions like: Where will my child be happiest for the next few years? Is the popular public school near our house or the private school with the stellar scores a better bet? Is this school really as great as it seems?

To help parents avoid common pitfalls when choosing a school, we checked in with Liz Perelstein, president of School Choice International. Perelstein, who has worked as an admissions officer, now advises parents on that sometimes crazy-making, but all-important question: which school will be best for my child?

1. Judging a school by the hallways

If you really want to get to know a school, get a sense of it where it matters most – in the classroom.

If you're seriously considering a school, ask to sit in on a couple classrooms and observe – for anywhere up to a half hour. That's sounds like a lot of time, but you're homework will serve you – and your child – well. See how involved, active, and inspirational the teachers are. Do they interact well with the students? Do the kids look bored, fidgety, or are they badly behaved? Check here for more questions to ask when touring a school.

2. Choosing a school based on the kindergarten class alone.

Do kids look happy and engaged? What's on the walls of the classrooms? What are the room lay-outs? What kind of special offerings – from academics to team sports to after-school programs – does the school offer older kids? To learn more on assessing an elementary school, check out these insider tricks.

3. Choosing a school without regard to location.

Although on the surface this may seem less important than other factors like test scores, parents should be able to get to the school without too much difficulty – either for emergencies or for school events. And if there's no school bus and little chance at carpooling, you might be making the trek twice a day, week after week, year after year.


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